Heritage experts have trashed Delhi government's plan to build a new road, possibly an elevated one, near Qutb Minar to decongest Mehrauli.
Situated in Mehrauli, Qutb Minar, a world heritage site, has more than 100 heritage structures and protected monuments in its vicinity.
The government had last week announced a plan to build two separate roads - one from the Mehrauli bus terminus to Mehrauli-Badarpur (MB) Road near Anuvrat Marg Ahimsa Sthal and another from Shahi Idgah to Aruna Asaf Ali Marg via Sanjay Van. It is, however, yet to be decided whether the first road would be an elevated, underground or a surface road. The public works department (PWD) will hire a consultant to examine alternate routes.
The Qutb complex has about half-a-dozen protected monuments while there are 80-odd heritage monuments and structures in the neighbouring Mehrauli Archaeological Park. The Mehrauli village also has dozens of heritage monuments and structures. The road connecting Mehrauli bus terminus with MB road would possibly be aligned through the Mehrauli Archaelogical Park.
Archaeological law bans any new construction within 0-100 metres and puts several restrictions for construction in the 101-300 metres area of a protected monument.
AK Jain, Delhi Development Authority's former commissioner (planning) said Delhi's Master Plan 2021 mentions Mehrauli as a 'heritage and archaeological zone' and that an elevated road should not come up in its vicinity.
AGK Menon, who heads the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), said, "A world heritage site's ambience cannot be compromised."
A PWD spokesperson explained: "The plan is still at a conceptual level. We are aware of the restrictions in view of the protected heritage monuments. Two-three alternate plans will be submitted to agencies such as ASI, Delhi Urban Arts Commission within two months."